Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Microsoft have released a plugin for their Edge browser, which uses Newsguard ratings to mark Buzzfeed as reliable, and Breitbart, Drudge and Wikileaks as untrustworthy. At the time of writing they haven’t yet made up their mind about WUWT.
Microsoft Teams with Establishment ‘NewsGuard’ to Create News Blacklist
23 Jan 2019
Without consulting with its users, Microsoft has installed an establishment media browser extension, purportedly designed to rate the accuracy of news websites, as a default extension on mobile versions of its Edge browser. In practice, it creates a news blacklist by warning users away from sites including Breitbart News, The Drudge Report, and the Daily Mail.
The browser extension, called “Newsguard,” presents users with a red warning label if they navigate to a website that it judges to be unreliable. A “green” rating is given to websites that NewsGuard considers trustworthy.
A number of pro-Trump websites, including Breitbart News, are given a “red” rating by the extension.
To see this new feature you need to install Edge on your iPhone or Android device, or perhaps use the Edge browser on your Microsoft computer.
For fun I pulled up a few screenshots of the ratings of Buzzfeed, Breitbart and WUWT;
The “reliable” rating for Buzzfeed in my opinion seems a little questionable, given their recent fake news embarrassment.
But the real question in my mind is, if Microsoft tells you web content is reliable, are they liable if you act on the content and suffer harm or loss?